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Paul McCartney's Basses

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by CSM799, Dec 2, 2006.

  1. CSM799


    Aug 15, 2006
    I saw a thread here earlier where they were talking about Paul's playing and some were talking about what he was playing.
    I thought I would put this out there, some little know facts.
    Paul's first bass was a 1960 Rosetti Solid 7, black and red sunburst, semi acoustic. Paul stung it with piano wire. Paul said. " It was a terrible guitar. It was really just a good-looking piece of wood. It had a nice paint job but it was disastrous and cheap." The guitar met it's end when Paul dropped it and the boys jumped on it and smashed it. I have attached a photo of the Rosetti. Notice the strings.
    Paul then used a 1960 Hofner Club 40 That John loaned him after John bought a Rickenbacker. I have attached a photo of that to.
    It wasn't long after that when Paul purchased his now famous 1961 Hofner 500/1 3/4 scale violin bass. He bought it when in Hamburg, at Steinway's Musichaus. He really wanted a Fender but could not afford one. So he bought the Hofner because and I quote...." the violin shape didn't make me look so daft playing left handed.
    Sorry, I'm a huge Beatles fan.

    Attached Files:

  2. Mark Wilson

    Mark Wilson Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2005
    Toronto, Ontario
    Endorsing Artist: Elixir® Strings
    I think that's really cool.

  3. Xhiggy_bass


    Dec 2, 2006
    anmore BC
    i've always been turned off by the way that violin bass looks.
  4. GM60466


    May 20, 2006
    Land of Lakland
    how is the Hofner 3/4 size?

  5. LookIt'sSteve17


    Oct 31, 2006
    3/4 scale = short scale

    tomato = tomahto
  6. srxplayer


    May 19, 2004
    Highland, CA
    Very cool info.

    I'm a Beatles fan too. :D
  7. iamthebassman


    Feb 24, 2004
    Endorsing Artist: Phantom Guitars, Eastwood Guitars
    I'm glad we don't do ALL of The Beatles' career or I'd have to find one of those crap Rosettis.
    design likes this.
  8. apollo11


    Aug 19, 2004
    New York
    The Rosetti and Hofner in those pictures are both guitars. The Hofner, as stated, was John's, which he loaned to Paul after he bought his Rickenbacker. Paul wasn't the bass player yet--Stuart Sutcliffe was. Sutcliff had a different Hofner Bass, a large hollowbody, which he bought new with prize money from an art contest. The Beatles urged Sutcliffe to use his prize money to buy the bass, as they needed a bass player. This bass was the first proper bass in the Beatles.

    When it was decided that he would be the bass player, Paul bought the Hofner violin bass, his first of two that he owned while a Beatle. Some cloudyness on this topic--Paul has stated that the violin bass looked less daft on a lefty, as it was symmetrical. In fact, his first Hofner was a lefty, so it is not clear if it was ordered as one or was modified at the factory. The control panel was in the correct spot at the lower corner---if it was a flipped righty, the control would be at the top corner when being played. The neck was a right-hand neck, I believe. This bass had the two pickups spaced right next to each other near the bottom of the neck. It was used in the Revolution video and for some of Let It Be, but was stolen during the Let It Be sessions. Its whereabouts are still unknown.
  9. Lazylion

    Lazylion Goin ahead on wit my bad self!

    Jan 25, 2006
    Frederick MD USA
    Don't ever apologise for that! Anybody with any taste and an appreciation of rock history has GOT to be a Beatle fan! :bassist:
    I'm still trying to get my band to cover "1 After 909"!
  10. dls59

    dls59 Supporting Member

    "One After 909" kicks butt! It is one of my favorite Beatles songs.
  11. Mean Mr Mustard

    Mean Mr Mustard

    Oct 8, 2005
    sorry old topic but, I always thought that the bassline on that song is underrated..

    Stu Sutclife used the Hofner Club Bass.
  12. corinpills


    Nov 19, 2000
    Boston, MA
    Nope, Stu used the larger bodied Hofner Senator (very similar to the Hofner president. those two basses are way cool- sound like the violin bass, but a bigger body like a Gretsch guitar. Expensive as all hell, though.
  13. +1

    I find it very ugly.

    love McCartney's playing though
  14. WalWarrior

    WalWarrior Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2006
    MD suburbs
    Paul's early Hofner days had him playing what's know as now, the Hofner "Cavern" bass. The two pickups in the bass position. Paul is a true Badass!
  15. SGT. Pepper

    SGT. Pepper Banned

    Nov 20, 2005
    Paul wanted a Fender Jazz but couldn't afford one at the time so he went with the Hofner for about $225.00.
  16. bassist15


    Mar 6, 2006
    ACually im pretty sure Paul wanted a Fender P bass. In his eyes that was the bass. His bass influences used them (Duck Dunn , Jamerson).
  17. alanbass1


    Feb 8, 2006
  18. corinpills


    Nov 19, 2000
    Boston, MA

    Again, let me just point out- solely for the sake of being accurate- that nobody knew what a James Jamerson or a Duck Dunn was in 1961 (when McCartney took over on bass). That's really early for Motown, only their first few singles wre out by then (which teh band iused to cover: Money, Please Mr. Postman etc.), and I don't believe any Stax singles had made it to the UK at that point. It's revisionist history, the way all bass players worship James Jamerson now. Nobody ever heard of him outside Detroit during the 60's. Not saying I don't love his playing, just realize that his recognition is a function of the last 10- 15 years of gear magazines, internet chat forums, Dr. licks, etc.

    If Paul was lusting after a P Bass, it would have been because of Jet Harris of the Shadows- the only UK band that actually had a Fender P Bass at the time. One P- Bass in the whole country, no really. American instruments were not imported into the UK at that time, which is why they all played German guitars.
    design likes this.
  19. Showdown

    Showdown Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2002
    Honolulu, Hawaii

    Actually Paul has said Jamerson was a big influence, he just didn't know his name at the time since Motown never gave musicians album credit. The bass lines were the influence, he just didn't know who played them. There was an interview with him in the 60s asking who his influences were, and he said "the guy that plays all the Motown stuff".
  20. bassist15


    Mar 6, 2006
    Thanks Showdown thats what I was getting at. Acually im pretty sure Duck Dunn was credited on Albums becasue he was acualyl part of a band , Booker T & The Mg's who had plenty of albums.

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